Colossal/Owen – Split 7″ (Asian Man Records, 2016)

Remember how I discovered American Football in Satan’s Hollow after a Joan of Arc gig? You may recall I touched on how great the gig itself was, and that it had it own stories. Well it just so happens that there were two things to take away about that night.

Joan of Arc were fantastic and it was an awesome introduction into their off kilter style of jazzy post-punk. I’d never really heard of Cap’n Jazz at this point and Tim Kinsella just blew me away with his irreverence. His brother also left a lasting impression but for quite a different reason, as Owen’s performance was marked by Mike storming off the stage in a huff because not everyone in the room was totally into the painfully heartfelt songs he was whispering over his acoustic guitar. It’s put me off his solo music ever since and this latest song on his split with Colossal isn’t doing much to change that. It’s overly earnest like his latest American Football album, and frankly pretty boring and uninteresting musically with some dull finger picked acoustic guitar backing the track.

Now onto the good stuff. The first time I heard Colossal was because my good friend and erstwhile bandmate Andy (commonly known as Andy GI) used to have the start of “The Serious Kind” from Colossal’s debut album “Welcome The Problems” as his ring tone. The lazy, meandering trumpet intro always grabbed me and led to me checking out the album. If you’re not already aware of it, it is a great blend of jazzy/poppy indie-rock, and even though this cut is from over a decade later, it really picks up where the album left off. For me, this is a perfect example of a band getting back into what they were doing, and doing it well. When Colossal first started, they took the blueprint that American Football had laid in the late 90s, but made it their own, and more importantly, took it out on tour rather than leaving it confined to the studio.

I’m happy to say it’s all still here with intricate guitar parts and the occasional accompaniment of trumpet, all tied together with Pat Ford’s laid back vocals. As with most Colossal tracks the dynamic of the song is great; picking you up with crescendos of trumpet and then settling you back down again with some deftly played guitar. The only thing that sucks is that there’s only one track, and I’ve no idea if they’re back for good and writing any more music, ‘cos I would love to see these guys live.

So in all this release is a bit of a mixed bag, as one side’s a dud, and the other a banger. Though I’d say the Colossal track makes it worth picking up; you never need to flip it over onto that other side anyway eh?

6/10 (Pretty much all thanks to Colossal)

Check it out on Asian Man’s bandcamp though and form your own opinion, or just go and buy it at Asian Man’s store!

Carpet is a beardy ex-punk who lives in north Manchester. He used to run a club night called Refuse To Lose! but stopped because he can't handle the late nights any more. Now he just spends too much money on craft beer talking about mouthfeel and dank hops.

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